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[WINTER 2017/2018] Inside the EPA-Certified Wood Stove Debate
FEATURE ARTICLE: Can EPA Wood Stoves Cut Indoor Air Pollution?
OPINION (PRO): EPA Wood Stoves Reduce Air Emissions
OPINION (CON): EPA Wood Stoves Still Pollute
– by Erin Voegele, October 14, 2016, Biomass Magazine
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the October edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, along with its Winter Fuels Outlook, predicting household expenditures on natural gas, heating oil, electricity and propane will increase this winter.
According to EIA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts this winter, measured in heating degree days, will be 3 percent warmer than the previous 10-year average, but much colder than last winter, which averaged 15 percent warmer than the 10-year average nationally.
Within the report, the EIA notes the number of households using cord wood or wood pellets as the primary spacing heating fuel has increased 26 percent since 2005, reaching approximately 2.5 billion households in 2015. In addition, approximately 8 percent of households use wood as a secondary source of heat, making wood second only to electricity as a supplemental heating fuel.
[Read the opposing view to this opinion piece, “Renewability: Congress Confirms Biomass Energy is Renewable,” by Roger Sedjo and Stephen Shaler.]
– by Christopher D. Ahlers, Adjunct Professor, Vermont Law School
There has been increased public attention to the use of biomass as a means to address climate change. Recently, the Senate approved the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which would require the federal government to consider certain biomass projects as “carbon-neutral.” The bill attempts to circumvent the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, which has been working on a policy relating to biogenic carbon dioxide emissions for over five years (biogenic emissions are those generated from the combustion of biomass, or biological materials such as plants and trees).
But the prevailing debate ignores the real problem of biomass. It overlooks the harm to public health.